"This is the tribute I get? The same picture over and over?" Oh, Pink House, you know how it is. I'd have to go through old pictures and then, I don't know, SCAN them or something, and who has the time? Pretend it's a different day. Different snow*. Different things happening inside. You choose. (*Maybe it's foam!)
So where was I? The good news. The love story. Elizabeth. Comedy in the hallway. (How am I going to cram it all in? I'm not, I'm not going to. Make peace right now, Tina.) Okay, I know. The old failsafe. Snapshots. ("Irony," declares the Pink House above.)
Pulled at random:
1. Christmas Party, 200...2. I think. It's not that kind of Christmas party. It's the other kind. "Dress outrageously" is the edict, and everyone complies. I've chosen some kind of Hindu tenement angel look, with fluffy white wings, a kimono and a bindi. Brian is sporting an enormous David Byrne-ish suit and tie. It's 3 in the morning. The music is loud. The people are dancing. The floor is bending beneath us a little. The thought crosses my mind, "I wonder...if the living room...is going to fall into the basement." And then it crosses back the other way, and forgets something and crosses back, and keeps doing that. Nice work, floor, keeping us alive. (Lots of spontaneous dancing when people come to the Pink House, due to a music collection heavily weighted to guilty pleasures but anchored - entirely not due to me - with enough credible stuff so that the self esteem of our guests doesn't totally plummet.)
2. September 11th, 2001, before 7 am. The phone rings. Who calls this early? Something is serious. A message from our friend, Jenn, "I'm all right." What? Why wouldn't you be? I turn on the TV. I wake Brian. We stare at it. We go wake Elizabeth and Erik. There we are, in the living room, for most of the day.
3a. April 19th, 2006, around 8pm. I'm in an enormous birth tub in our living room. Elizabeth is squeezing my back during contractions, and Morgan is, and our midwife is, too...is Dave? He may be. He may also be freaking out a little in the kitchen. Larraine, my mother-in-law, she's in the room, too. I say out loud, just to get it out of my system, "We can always put him up for adoption, right?" I'm joking, sort of, but I'm also not. I think I need to have this deal on the table in order to keep dilating. I'm not ready to be a parent but within 15 or so hours I will be anyway. I imagine Finn also needed that deal on the table to keep doing whatever he was doing. Um...she's not ready! I can hear her thinking it!
3b. April 22nd, 2006. Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Baby in a teal velour suit and hat, this is your house. You live here. (He lives here? Really? With us? I need to lie down.)
4. December 31st, 1999. Elizabeth and I are getting ready to go out to our different New Year's Eves. We have purchased and are wearing the same high-heeled pony skin boots, in different colors. Mine are red, hers are olive green. We have that song on. It's still light out. We're dancing. We can't believe it's here.
5. Summer, 1999, a random night. Our friend Forest is living in our basement. He has a bad dream and yells out. I think he's being attacked and launch my knee jerk "we have an intruder" move, which is to yell out in what I think sounds like a man's voice, "WHAT?!" Like, I'm a big football player and why are you bothering me with all these questions? That's what it sounds like. That's my move. Forest comes upstairs and he and Elizabeth join me and Brian in our room. Elizabeth pretends to be on the phone placing an order, "Hello? Yeah, we need some mommies."
6. Christmas morning, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, done to excess. I have stayed up until 5am wrapping all the stocking stuffers. The presents snake out across the floor. The stockings overflow into large grocery bags. Elizabeth is there. Brian is there. Jenn is there. Stephen may be there. Morgan will come later.
7. Summer 2003. It's just me. Brian and I have split up. I watch the movie "Laurel Canyon" and decide to take up pot smoking more seriously. I buy a pretty little pipe. It's odd to be drinking wine and smoking pot by myself in my little house. Anesthetized, lost and hopeful.
8. Various times. What's on television? We watch "The Practice." Ba-nuh-nuh-nuh! Always dance to the theme song. We watch "The West Wing" and "The Daily Show" to help us cope with the Bush years. "Survivor"? This kind of thing can't last.
9. Election night, 2000. I've thrown out a rib and am pasted to Uncle Bill, who is a deluxe old leather recliner that Brian has imported into the house. Am likely wrapped up in Mr. Softee, who is a taupe blanket given to me by my friend, Cara, for my birthday one year. It hurts to breathe. The election is finally called for George Bush. At that precise moment, the TV smokes, sparks and goes black. It has flatlined.
7. October/November 2003. I'm on the phone. Long distance. Australia. A short conversation, just to touch base = an hour and a half. A regular conversation = 3-5 hours. The longest conversation = 10.5 hours. I can see the moon out of the living room window. He can see that same moon. My ear cartilage is nearly destroyed, but this doesn't matter.
Well, this is clearly going to be a three-parter.
Next time, the bad news. No, we haven't sold it - that will be good news. No, we had some renters. And it went bad. And they assaulted the house. Nothing too serious, all cosmetic wounds are healed. But just picture your most sacred, beloved place, and picture it desecrated. Feel that.